Film: BFI London Film Festival Guide


5 Totally Different Films to Catch at London Film Festival

Films for the hopeless romantic, the thrillseeker, and the kiddiewinks too

London Film Festival runs over 12 days but there’s a dizzying 225 features from 77 different countries to choose from, which means you wouldn’t be able to watch them all even if you really, really tried. So, we’ve put together a list that will please everyone: from the hopeless romantics to the thrillseekers, and a little something for the kiddiewinks too.

The one to prove the power of love: If Beale Street Could Talk
If Beale Street Could Talk has a lot to live up to: it’s a James Baldwin adaptation and it’s Barry Jenkins’ follow-up to the achingly beautiful, Oscar-winning Moonlight. Beale Street promises more of Jenkins’ distinguishing style with beautiful cinematography and a total lack of fear when it comes to addressing justice and injustice in America as an African American woman fights to clear her fiancé innocent of a crime it is impossible for him to have committed.

Image Credit: BFI via Instagram

See details for showings of If Beale Street Could Talk here
The one to enrapture the little ones: Gordon & Paddy
Kids love stuff that doesn’t treat them like blithering idiots (it’s surprisingly rare), and this is one of those gold-dust children’s films that takes its audience seriously. Gordon & Paddy comes out of Sweden, and is something like a combination between The Bridge and The Wind in the Willows. Gordon (toad/police chief) and Paddy (a young mouse with big dreams and a quick wit) join forces to solve a pressing case: that of the missing nuts. Recommended for ages 6 and above.

Image Credit: Gordon & Paddy via Facebook

See details for showings of Gordon & Paddy here
The one to raise your heartbeat: School’s Out (L’heure de la sortie)
For fans of The Secret History, here comes a similar tale, but with a slightly younger and much creepier group of students acting out. Six pupils at a high school are acting suspiciously calm and collected after a teacher commits suicide in front of his students. It’s French, so of course there are a lot of brooding silences and pallid colouring to be enjoyed as substitute teacher Pierre (of course) gets sucked into the sextet’s weird world. It looks sure to raise the hairs on the backs of anyone’s arms, but doesn’t plunge fully into horror waters, giving it a broader appeal.

Image Credit: L'heure de la sortie - Sébastien Marnier via Facebook

See details for showings of School's Out here
The one to get you giggling: Support the Girls
This all-American film is already out in the USA and has been dominating movie-chatter with its topical and timely themes of resistance and revolution in the face of some rather old fashioned values. The film charts one day in the life of Lisa Conroy, who works at Double Whammies, a Hooters-style restaurant, and her battle to not only keep a smile on her face but on the faces of her staff in the face of various exasperating events. The film manages to catch a delicate balance between its serious theme and light tone, weaving the bitter and the sweet deftly together. You’ll come out of this restaurant workplace comedy having gone for a few belly laughs, but coming out with food for thought, too.

Image Credit: Support the Girls via Facebook

See details for showings of the Support the Girls here
The one that’s sure to surprise you: The Kindergarten Teacher
This one’s been flying under the radar so far, which is suprising due to the stellar lead actress it has bagged in Maggie Gyllenhaal and its offbeat, intriguing story. An American remake of an Israeli film from 2015, the story follows a kindergarten teacher (Maggie herself) with a frustratingly ordinary life with all the features of middle age: disconnected children, disconnected marriage. However, everything changes when she meets a savant 5-year-old who ostensibly spontaneously recites poetry. But is he everything that he seems? Is she? The Kindergarten Teacher leaves nothing unquestioned. 

Image Credit: BFI via Instagram

See details for showings of The Kindergarten Teacher here

Aged 25 and under? The BFI is offering you discounted £5 tickets for many of the screenings at London Film Festival!